Master dyer and local preacher in Leeds, was born on 11 December 1780, the grandson of Joseph Scarth, one of the first Methodists in the West Riding. He was brought up from an early age by his maternal uncle and aunt. Converted in the spiring of 1799, he joined the Methodist society the following December and began to preach a year later, continuing for over half a century.
As a close friend of Jabez Bunting and treasurer of the Leeds trustees, he was an opponent of democracy, sided with the Conference party in the dispute over the Brunswick organ in 1827 and opposed the Warrenites in 1834. He held most of the offices open to laymen and was a member of the committee appointed in 1838 to organize the celebration of the centenary of Methodism. After his death his fellow trustees at Brunswick recorded their appreciation of one who in a time of controversy 'stood forward in support of truth, order and godliness'.
His closing years were spent at Cheltenham, where he died on 9 May 1853.